If you head over to TotallyHer.com, you'll notice one notable difference: a lack of display ads. Instead, the only way to advertise brand on Evolve Media's latest site—which launched on Thursday—is through native content.
TotallyHer.com will feature top stories across Evolve Media's female-oriented sites, which receive 35 million monthy unique visitors, and mix in native content from brands.
Evolve Media chief revenue officer Geoff Schiller believes the new approach will not only showcase the site's best stories but make it known as a place for premium content. "It's a refreshing strategy to go to market on a site that is purely dedicated to content distribution," Schiller said.
Forgoing banner ads is a strategy that more publishers are employing. Millennial-targeted online news site Mic also avoids using the IAB ads. Mic CEO Chris Altchek previously told Adweek that it felt youth didn't respond well to display ads and they failed to build brand trust with the demographic. Using native content also frees publishers from meeting viewability standards.
"We think that our audiences are smart and if the creative is beautifully done and it’s engaging, then the traditional IAB ad space can work," Schiller said. "But if the publisher and brand marketer come together, that can be of greater value and the audience can benefit."